|Project Information Line
|Project Comment Forms
The following is a breakdown of the type of comment and question received:
|General aircraft noise complaints (GEN)
|Flight tracks (FT)
|Nighttime noise (NN)
|Volume of aircraft activity (VOL)
|Runway use (RWY)
|Aircraft altitudes (ALT)
|Aircraft/engine noise (ENG)
|Interior noise levels (INT)
|Land acquisition (ACQ)
|Nonnoise related complaint/comment (OTH)
|Study comments/suggestions (STD)
|General questions or requests for study
GENERAL AIRCRAFT NOISE COMPLAINTS (GEN)
Numerous community members contacted to Project Website, Project Information Line, or completed pre-addressed comment forms to state they would like to provide a complaint regarding aircraft noise for consideration in this FAR Part 150 Noise Compatibility Study (the Study). Some community members provided comments regarding aircraft noise in specific neighborhoods in the Airport environs. A number of commentors stated that aircraft noise is affecting their quality of life, communications, and outdoor activities.
All general noise complaints have been noted and are included in the graphic and statistical summary of noise complaints. These summaries will be posted on the Project Website (www.sdfnoisestudy.com) and included in the Project Workbooks (Project Workbooks can be obtained by contacting the RAA). In addition, specific Noise Compatibility Study Group (Study Group) committees will use this information to analyze potential noise abatement and noise mitigation strategies.
FLIGHT TRACKS (FT)
General Flight Track Comments/Suggestions
A number of community members commented on the disturbances caused by aircraft overflights. A number of commentors suggested that aircraft should operate away from their homes, or over nonresidential areas. One commentor stated that aircraft were continuously circling overhead. Some commentors suggested that they had been told in the past that aircraft flight tracks would be changed, but this change had not occurred.
Actual flight tracks obtained from an analysis of Automated Radar Terminal System (ARTS) flight tracking data will be presented at Study Group Meeting #2 (to be held on July 29, 1999). ARTS data depicts the actual flight tracks of aircraft along the ground. ARTS data will enable Study Group members to see the location and altitude of aircraft departures and arrivals from the Airport.
Potential changes in departure and arrival flight tracks will be examined during the analysis of potential noise abatement measures. Information provided by the ARTS data, graphic depiction of noise complaints, and input from Study Group committees will be included in the identification of potential flight track changes.
It should be noted that changes to aircraft flight tracks typically result in a shift of aircraft noise exposure to other areas of the Airport environs. Therefore, potential flight track changes must be carefully analyzed in regard to their potential to increase aircraft noise exposure in other residential areas in the Airport environs.
Potential I-65 Flight Corridor
A number of community members suggested aircraft operate over Interstate 65 (I-65) when departing and arriving from the Airport. Most inquired as to why this potential flight corridor could not be implemented immediately.
Potential changes in departure and arrival flight tracks and the identification of flight corridors over compatible land uses such as I-65 will be examined during the analysis of potential noise abatement measures. Information provided by the ARTS data, graphic depiction of noise complaints, and input from specific Study Group Committees will be included in the identification of potential flight track changes.
The FAA is responsible for the control of aircraft in navigable airspace and the operation of aircraft in the air traffic control system. Consequently, the RAA has no direct control over airspace management and air traffic control, including use of recommended flight tracks or runway usage. Potential flight track changes can be implemented if included in a FAA-approved Noise Compatibility Program.
Preston Highway Overflights
Two community members stated that aircraft were not adhering to recommendations identified in the previous Part 150 Study (Landrum & Brown, 1993) that prohibit aircraft from operating east of Preston Highway.
The 1993 Part 150 Study does not include a recommendation that prohibits aircraft from operating east of Preston Highway. These commentors may be referring to a recommended noise abatement measure included in the Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Louisville Airport Improvement Program (NA-09) which states:
When departing on Runways 35R or 35L and traffic permits, turbojets will fly runway heading until reaching an altitude of 2,500 feet above ground level (AGL) before turning on course.
Nevertheless, when departing on Runway 35R, aircraft may operate over the east side of Preston Highway while climbing to an altitude of 2,500 feet AGL. These actions are permissible within the EIS recommendation.
This Study will devote substantial effort to development of new and/or refined noise abatement measures, as well as improved procedures for insuring conformance to preferred flight tracks; however, conformance will never be perfect due to many variations in weather, pilot technique, and air traffic control requirements that occur at an airport throughout the day.
Flight Tracks South of the Airport
Three community members stated that aircraft were not adhering to the recommended flight tracks for Runways 17R and 17L that were identified in the previous Part 150 Study (Landrum & Brown, 1993). One commentor suggested that pilots were not adhering to recommended flight tracks to save time and money.
Actual flight tracks obtained from an analysis of ARTS flight tracking data will be presented at Study Group Meeting #2. Study Group members may see the location and altitude of aircraft departures and arrivals from all runways at the Airport. It should be noted that conformance with recommended flight tracks will never be perfect due to many variations in weather, pilot technique, and air traffic control requirements that occur at an airport throughout the day.
Improved procedures for insuring consistency with recommended flight tracks will be examined during the analysis of potential noise abatement measures. Information provided by the ARTS data and input from specific Study Group committees will be included in the identification and screening of such measures.
Temporary Flight Track Changes
One commentor noted that flight patterns were changed during a two-day period since noise levels were perceived to be lower. This commentor stated that the changed flight patterns were implemented by the Airport during the noise monitoring program (conducted in June 1999) so as to reduce noise levels in the Airport environs.
The FAA is responsible for the control of aircraft in navigable airspace and the operation of aircraft in the air traffic control system. Consequently, the Regional Airport Authority (RAA) has no direct control over airspace management and air traffic control, including flight track and/or runway use.
Neither the RAA nor the FAA were aware of the date and time that noise measurements were occurring at each of the twenty noise monitoring sites. Monitoring dates were selected at random by members of the Noise Monitoring Committee. This information was known by only select members of the consultant team and the Noise Monitoring Committee.
NIGHTTIME NOISE (NN)
Evening and Nighttime Aircraft Operations
Many community members commented on evening and nighttime aircraft operations. Some commentors stated that nighttime aircraft operations begin at approximately 10:00 p.m., increase in volume between 1:00 and 4:00 a.m., and continue until approximately 7:00 a.m. The volume and frequency of aircraft operations during evening hours was also mentioned. One commentor stated that 27 aircraft operations occurred between 11:30 and 12:30 a.m.one every 2 to 3 minutes.
Based on a preliminary review of ARTS data for the period from May 23, to June 19, 1999 approximately 42% of all aircraft operations (approximately 9,200 departures and arrivals) occurred between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. (See also the response to the following comment)
UPS Nighttime Operations
Two community members commented on noise generated by UPS aircraft during nighttime hours. These commentors generally concurred with the other comments regarding the times of nighttime aircraft operations (beginning at approximately 10:00 p.m., increasing in volume between 1:00 and 4:00 a.m., and continuing until approximately 7:00 a.m.).
Based on a preliminary review of actual aircraft operations data for the period from May 23, to June 19, 1999, approximately 75% of all UPS aircraft operations (approximately 3,300 departures and arrivals) occurred between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.
UPS operates their primary sorting hub at Louisville International Airport. The nature of a cargo sorting hub requires a nighttime sort so that parcels can be delivered during the following business day. Consequently, the majority of UPS aircraft operations occur during nighttime hours. One of the primary goals of this Part 150 Study is to minimize the impact of aircraft noise exposure, especially during nighttime hours.
Many community members commented on sleep disturbance and wake-up problems caused by aircraft noise. Some residents expressed concern that they could not leave their windows open at night because of the noise.
All nighttime noise complaints have been noted and are included in the graphic and statistical summary of noise complaints. Such information will be used by specific Study Group committees to analyze potential noise abatement strategies. In addition, sound attenuation strategies will be assessed during the analysis of potential noise mitigation strategies. An overview of research conducted in the field of sleep disturbance is included in Working Paper #1.
VOLUME OF AIRCRAFT ACTIVITY (VOL)
Volume of Aircraft Activity During Evening Hours or Over Southern Indiana
A number of community members commented on the volume of aircraft operations. Many commentors stated that aircraft operations occur every one to two minutes. A number of community members commented on the volume of aircraft operations over southern Indiana. Most of these comments regarded nighttime aircraft operations.
This Study will address all aircraft activity. Although limitations on aviation activity may be investigated as noise reduction measures, the RAA is not able to restrict access to the Airport without following established Federal regulations that require an analysis of the impacts associated with a proposed access restriction.
Increases in the Number of Aircraft Operations
A few community members commented on a perceived increase in aircraft operations during the previous three to four months (April through July, 1999).
Airport records will be used to provide an accurate count of traffic. Forecasts of aviation activity will be prepared to establish a reliable estimate of future traffic growth.
RUNWAY USE (RWY)
Runway Use Statistics
One commentor stated that noise is perceived to be louder since Runway 17R-35L was opened in December 1997. Other commentors requested data on the number of operations in Runways 17R-35L and 17L-35R. One commentor asked if Runway 17R-35L was closed.
It is likely that the opening of Runway 17R-35L caused an increase in aircraft activity in certain parts of the Airport environsespecially in those neighborhoods located beneath departure and arrival flight tracks to Runway 17R-35L.
Preliminary review of actual aircraft operations data for the period from May 23, to June 19, 1999, indicates that approximately 37% of all aircraft operations (approximately 9,200 departures and arrivals) occurred on Runway 17R-35L, and approximately 62% of all aircraft operations occurred on Runway 17L-35R. The average annual use of these runways may be different since wind and weather conditions that occur throughout the year affect annual runway use. In addition, runways at the Airport are closed periodically by the RAA for required maintenance, such as painting, rubber removal, light pavement maintenance, FAA navigational aid maintenance, etc.
Departures on Runway 35R or 35L
One commentor noted that aircraft were departing on Runways 35R and 35L at 1:00 p.m., which is contrary to "the normal pattern". This commentor noted that the on-field weather recording showed the wind to be 7 knots at 30 degrees; and the National Weather Service showed the wind to be 7 knots at 10 degrees. This commentor asked why the aircraft are being directed in the wrong direction.
In the case above, aircraft were operating in the appropriate direction based on wind conditions. According to data provided by this commentor, the wind was originating from the north-northeast. Therefore, aircraft were departing into the direction of the windto the north on Runways 35R and/or 35L.
Informal runway utilization procedures for the Airport are documented in the Informal Runway Use/Noise Abatement Procedures for Louisville International Airport. These procedures, which were prepared by the RAA, became effective on December 1, 1997, and are administered by the FAA airport traffic control tower (ATCT). During the hours between 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. turbojet aircraft are to utilize the runways in the following order: (1) land on Runway 17L, depart on Runways 17R and 17L; (2) land and depart on Runways 17R and 17L; (3) land on Runways 35R and 35L, depart on Runway 35R; (4) land and depart on Runways 35R and 35L; and (5) land and depart on Runway 29. Runway use configurations (1 through 5) are used in order of priority by the ATCT to the extent possible whenever wind, weather, traffic density, and airfield conditions permit.
AIRCRAFT ALTITUDES (ALT)
General Comments Regarding Aircraft Operations at Low Altitudes
A number of community members commented on aircraft operating at low altitudes.
The altitude of aircraft departing and arriving from an airport is determined by a number of factors, including aircraft weight, payload, engine type, engine thrust, weather conditions, safety factors, and instructions provided by the ATCT. There is no "correct" height for aircraft operating from an airport on takeoff. For landings, aircraft follow a prescribed slope at close-in ranges.
Aircraft Altitudes Over Specific Locations
A number of community members commented on low aircraft operations over southern Indiana, North Audubon Park, Lincoln Heights, and St. James Court.
Actual flight tracks obtained from an analysis of ARTS flight tracking data will be presented at Study Group Meeting #2. ARTS data can provide the actual altitude of aircraft operating along departure and arrival flight tracks.
Potential changes to aircraft operating altitudes will be examined during the analysis of potential noise abatement measures. Information provided by the ARTS data, input from Study Group committees, and noise complaints regarding aircraft altitudes will be included in the identification and screening of potential noise abatement measures. It should be noted that potential changes to departure and arrival altitudes must be carefully analyzed in regard to the air traffic control environment and aircraft safety.
Changes in Aircraft Operating Altitudes
A number of community members commented that aircraft have been operating at lower altitudes, especially during the previous 3 to 4 months.
The altitude of aircraft departing and arriving from the airport is determined by a number of factors, including aircraft weight, payload, engine type, engine thrust, weather conditions, safety factors, and instructions provided by the ATCT. On occasion, aircraft may be directed by the ATCT to operate at a lower altitude when initiating an approach to the Airport. These directions are sometimes necessary to safely space arriving and departing aircraft in the airspace system surrounding the Airport.
One commentor suggested that the potential for an accident in Louisville has increased since aircraft are operating at lower altitudes in the Airport environs.
AIRCRAFT/ENGINE NOISE (ENG)
One commentor asked why sound barriers have not been used at the Airport.
The use of sound barriers to mitigate noise nearby the Airport will be considered as part of this Study. Sound barriers will be examined during the analysis of potential noise abatement measures. Data obtained from the noise monitoring program, input from Study Group committees, and information provided by the summary of noise complaints will be included in the identification and screening of such measures.
One commentor suggested that aircraft operating at the Airport are not "normal".
Standard air carrier, air cargo, commuter, and general aviation aircraft operate from the Airport. This commentor may be referring to an experimental type of general aviation aircraft, which are not prohibited from operating at any airport in the United States.
One commentor stated that UPS aircraft have greatly reduced noise with the type of engines used on their aircraft. This commentor also stated that (1) aircraft with three engines mounted near the tail (e.g., B-727 aircraft) generate the most noise, (2) Southwest Airlines has a comparatively quiet fleet, and (3) the Air National Guard operates aircraft that generate significant noise during take-off.
The relative noise levels of aircraft will be examined in this Study. In 1990, Congress enacted the Airport Noise and Capacity Act (ANCA) to reduce aircraft noise and enhance the capacity of the National Air Transportation System. Accordingly, ANCA mandated that all large jet aircraft exceeding 75,000 pounds meet the most stringent (FAR Part 36 Stage 3) noise standards by December 31, 1999. The propor-tion of Stage 3 air carrier aircraft currently serving Louisville is generally reflective of the national average. It should be noted that UPS was the first air carrier (cargo or passenger) in the United Stated to operate an all Stage 3 aircraft fleet. UPS vol-untarily accelerated conversion of its fleet five years earlier than required by Federal law.
The majority of B-727 aircraft operating in the United States are certified under FAR Part 36 as Stage 2. However, a B-727 aircraft may be re-certified as a Stage 3 aircraft using hushkits, re-engineering, or technological upgrades. The B-727-100 aircraft operated by UPS have been modified to reduce noise levels to below the maximum allowed under Stage 3.
One commentor asked what is the cause of vibrations/echoes on Southland Boulevard, near Iroquois.
The exact cause of vibrations/echoes on Southland Boulevard near Iroquois is unknown at this time. Potential aircraft-related vibration or low frequency noise will be investigated as part of the noise monitoring program being conducted for this Study. Input from Study Group committees and data compiled in the noise monitoring program will be considered in the identification, screening, and selection of potential measures.
INTERIOR NOISE LEVELS (INT)
Many members of the community commented on interior noise levels. Most commentors stated that aircraft overflights disrupted conversation and other indoor activities such as watching television. Other commentors mentioned that they were compelled to leave windows closed during summer months, and central air conditioning did not provide adequate noise mitigation.
All noise complaints have been noted and are included in the graphic and statistical summary of noise complaints. Sound attenuation measures will be assessed during the analysis of potential noise mitigation strategies. An overview of the effects of noise exposure on people is provided in Working Paper #1, FAR Part 150 Noise Compatibility Study Overview.
LAND ACQUISITION (ACQ)
Many members of the community commented on the RAAs ongoing residential acquisition program. Many commentors asked if their homes or neighborhoods would be purchased as part of this Study. Other comments stated that nearby neighborhoods or residential units were purchased by the RAA, while their homes received no attention. Some commentors suggested that aircraft noise levels are louder in their neighborhoods than in those already purchased by the RAA.
The ongoing land acquisition program was included in the previous Part 150 studys recommended Noise Compatibility Program (Landrum & Brown, 1993). The intent of the program is to acquire the residential homes generally located within the DNL 75 noise exposure contours identified in that study. At this time, additional acquisition can not be justified by the RAA until this Part 150 Study is complete.
NON-NOISE RELATED COMPLAINT/COMMENT (OTH)
One commentor summarized the information contained in local television program regarding the impact of waking an asthmatic child during the night.
This comment is noted. An overview of the effects of noise exposure on people is provided in Working Paper #1.
Four community residents provided comments regarding the perceived damage aircraft are causing to the rooftops of residential units in the airport environs. This damage was reported as dark spots or tracks on the roofs of these homes. One commentor stated that aircraft fuel had been dumped on his/her property.
At present, there is no evidence to support the notion of localized effects of pollution or residue from aircraft engines. Independent studies conducted for other airports in the United States found that residues collected by local residents were not from jet fuel. Studies conducted in the Louisville area indicate that dark spots or stains on residential rooftops originate from a type of mildew characteristic of the region. It should be noted that, except in emergency situations, aircraft do not dump fuel from their fuel tanks. Fuel dumping for emergency purposes normally takes place at high altitudes away from residential areas.
STUDY COMMENT/SUGGESTIONS (STD)
One commentor, who lives at the intersection of Eastern Parkway and Preston Highway, stated that they area outside of the "noise zone" of the Airport, and requested that the RAA do a study in that area.
The intersection of Eastern Parkway and Preston Highway is included in the study area for this Part 150 Study. Noise abatement strategies recommended as part of the final Noise Compatibility Program may provide reductions in noise exposure levels for residences living in any portion of the Airport environs. Potential noise abate-ment and noise mitigation measures will be assessed by Study Group committees. Recommended measures will be endorsed by the entire Study Group prior to preparation of the final Noise Compatibility Program.
One commentor stated that current noise levels depicted on a noise exposure map are incorrect, and that actual noise levels are higher.
The current noise exposure maps for the Airport were prepared as part of the previ-ous Part 150 study prepared for the Airport (Landrum & Brown, 1993) based on forecasts and projected data. It may be that the noise levels depicted on these maps are no longer accurate. This is one of the primary reasons the RAA is updating the noise exposure maps as part of this Study.
One commentor stated that they want the RAA to do something regarding changing flight tracks immediately, not after the Study is completed.
The FAA is responsible for the control of aircraft in navigable airspace and the operation of aircraft in the air traffic control system. Consequently, the RAA has no direct control over airspace management and air traffic control, including use of rec-ommended flight tracks or runway usage. The FAAs Air Traffic Division reviews proposed changes, such as new flight tracks or runway use programs, on the basis of safety, efficient use of airspace, and the management and control of the national air traffic control system. Completion of an FAR Part 150 Study is the primary means of obtaining FAA review and approval of flight track changes.
Noise Monitoring Sites
A number of community members suggested locations for the placement of noise monitors, or requested that monitors be placed at their homes or business.
Ten of the twenty total noise monitoring sites were selected by the Study Group Noise Monitoring Committee. The other ten sites were identified by the consultant team based on technical requirements.
In accordance with the Study Group Charter, focused committees such as the Noise Monitoring Committee have a key role in evaluating technical elements of the Study and making decisions. In regard to the selection of noise monitoring sites, the Noise Monitoring Committee met on April 29, May 6, and May 26, 1999 to discuss techni-cal materials provided by the consultant team and select ten noise monitoring sites. The ten sites selected by the Committee were endorsed by the Study Group on May 26, 1999, and provided to the consultant team that evening.
Two community members commented on the location of the Airport. One commentor suggested the Airport should have been constructed in Bullitt County, the other suggested the Airport be relocated.
The FAA requires airport sponsors, such as the RAA, to provide a number of assurances as a condition of receiving an FAA grant. Among these grant assurances is a requirement that the airport sponsor may not close an airport for non-aeronautical reasons without approval of the Secretary of Transportation. It should also be noted that the process of selecting a replacement airport site, receiving the necessary approvals, constructing the new facility, and providing the necessary infrastructure is a very lengthy process, normally addressed in an airport master plan study.
GENERAL QUESTIONS OR REQUEST FOR STUDY INFORMATION (INFO)
A number of community members requested ways in which to get involved in the Study.
Recognizing that effective noise compatibility planning involves a wide range of interests, the RAA established the Noise Compatibility Study Group for this FAR Part 150 Study. The Study Group is a voluntary group of citizens and stakeholders whose membership is open to all interested parties. As stated in the Study Group Charter, its purpose is to "
conduct a study of noise conditions resulting from airport operations, and prepare inputs to revise and update the airport authoritys Noise Compatibility Program." Accordingly the group will participate in the assessment of aircraft noise and in the analysis of specific recommendations intended to reduce noise exposure in the Airport environs. As an advisory group, the Study Group functions as a resource to the RAA and consultant team, acting as advisors, resource providers, and linkage to the communities and interest groups. The Study Group also serves an important function as a sounding board with stakeholders for the findings and conclusions of the Study. (See response to following comment)
Requests for Information
A number of community members requested information on receiving additional Study information.
Detailed information regarding this Part 150 Study can be obtained on the Project Website (www.sdfnoisestudy.com) or in the Project Workbooks contained at six Project Information Centers located in Louisville and southern Indiana. In addition, technical and other materials related to the Study can be obtained by attending Study Group meetings. Study Group meetings are scheduled, advertised, and held at key points during the Study. At each meeting, members review key technical information and/or analyses prepared by the consultant team, ask questions and voice opinions about conclusions and technical materials or recommendations, and provide input on subsequent Study tasks. Documentation of each meeting is provided in the Public Participation section of the Project Workbooks.
Requests for Meeting Dates and Times
A number of community members requested information on upcoming Study Group and/or committee meetings.
Dates and times for Study Group meetings are announced on the Project Website (www.sdfnoisestudy.com). In addition, the RAA mails future meeting announce-ments to all study participants. To receive meeting announcements in the mail, please provide your name and address on the sign in sheet provided at all Study Group meetings.
Committee meetings are scheduled by individual committee chairs. Future meeting dates are typically identified at the end of each committee meeting. Once the date for a committee meeting is set, the meeting date and time is announced on the Project Website.
One commentor asked what percent of total aircraft operations are UPS aircraft.
The base year for analysis in this Study is 1998the last full calendar year of data available at this time. In 1998 there was a total of approximately 172,000 aircraft operations (arrivals and departures). Of the total, approximately 32% were conducted by UPS aircraft.
One commentor asked what areas would be included in this Study.
The specific study area for this Part 150 study is generally bound by the Ohio River (including some parts of southern Indiana) to the north, Bowman Field to the east, Brooks Hill Road to the south, and the north-south spur of I-264 to the west. However, potential noise abatement measures will be assessed for their potential to reduce noise exposure levels in areas outside of the specific study area boundary. A complete description of land uses and noise sensitive facilities located within the study area will be presented at Study Group Meeting #2, and included in Interim Report #2 (to be issued in Fall 1999).
One commentor asked what is being done about aircraft operating at lower altitudes in the Lincoln Heights area.
Actual flight tracks and aircraft altitudes obtained from an analysis of ARTS flight tracking data will be presented at Study Group Meeting #2. Based on the processed ARTS data, Study Group members may see the location and altitude of aircraft departures and arrivals from the Airport.
One commentor inquired as to the feasibility of a 24-hour monitoring period.
Actual noise measurements were conducted at each of the 20 selected noise moni-toring sites for a period of at least 24-hours. Two of the 20 sites were monitored for 48-hours; and one site was monitored for 72-hours. A permanent noise monitoring system will be examined as part of this Study, and could be included in the Studys recommendations.
A number of community members requested that RAA or consultant team members contact them individually to discuss problems associated with aircraft noise.
RAA staff and members of the consultant team are available to speak with any member of the community regarding aircraft noise at Study Group meetings. In addition, the designated chair of each Study Group committee may call designated member of the consultant team with technical or other questions at any time.
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